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American Government Unit 4: Political Behavior: Government by the People. Chapter 5: Political Parties. Bellringer : list words or ideas associate with each of these labels. Democrat. Republican. I. Parties and What They Do. Objectives. Define a political party?
Chapter 5: Political Parties
Define a political party?
Describe the major functions of polticial parties.
Identify the reasons why the US has a two-party system.
Understand multiparty and one-party systems and how they affect the functioning of a polticial system.
Political party – group of persons who seek to control government through the winning of elections and the holding of public office
Divided into three elements
Party in the Government
Party in the Electorate
Link between governed and govern
Soften the impact of extremists
Political spectrum – range of political views (126)
Partisanship – the strong support of their party and its policy stands
Informing and Activating Supporters
The Bonding Agent Function – pick good candidates
Started with the ratification of the Constitution – Federalists and Anti-Federlists
Traditionally we have thus always have had one so it is hard for 3rd parties to come forward
Single member districts – winner takes all – promotes 2 party
Plurality – the most, not the majority
Wasted vote – 3rd party member
Law discourages 3rd party
Bipartisan – two parties work together and find common ground (127)
Consensus – general agreement among groups
US has mostly been an ideologically consensus – we have had some divisions (Civil War) but for the most part - similar
Multiparty systems lead to more diverseness but also lead to more instability
Coalition – temporary alliance of several groups who come together to form a working majority to control the government
One Party is also a no party – not a dictatorship
In ¼ of states today, a single party wins most elections - Chicago, “Solid South”
Understand the origins of political parties in the US.
Identify and describe the three major periods of single-party domination and describe the current era of divided government.
Federalists v. Anti-Federalists
Jefferson created the Democratic Republicans – 1800
Incumbent – current officeholder
Era of Good Feelings – only one real party – Jefferson’s 1800 – 1824
Factions – competing groups
Jacksonian democrats v. Whigs
Spoils system – practice of awarding public offices, contracts, and other favorers to those who supported the party in power.
1854 – Republicans created Ripon, WI.
Elected Lincoln in 1860
From 1860 – 1932 – almost complete Republican control of the Presidency
Cleveland in 1884 and 1892, Wilson in 1912-1920
Republicans had tremendous prosperity
Democrats also to sectional – supported only in the South – Anti-Black (Solid South)
Electorate – the people eligible to vote
Sectionalism – emphasizes a devotion to the interests of a particular region
Great Depression allowed Democrats to take over
New base of southerners, small farmers, labor, and big city politics supported economic and social welfare programs
African Americans left Republicans and became Democrats.
1932 – 1968 – only break was Eisenhower from 1952-1960 (moderate)
Nixon 1968-1974 ® (D)
Ford 1974-1975 ® Watergate (D)
Carter 1976-1980 (D) Hostages (D)
Reagan 1980 – 1988 ® (D)
Bush 1988-1992 ® Economy (D)
Clinton 1992-2000 (D) ®
Bush 2000 – 2008 ® ®
Obama 2008 -2012? (D) (D)/®
Do we appear to be on the verge of such an era of dominance of a party today? Why or why not?
Identify the types of minor parties that have been active in American politics.
Understand why minor parties are important despite the fact that none has ever won the presidency.
Ideological parties – based on a particular set of comprehensive believes of social, economic, and political matters – most a share of Marxism
Single – Issue parties: focus on single public concern(free soil, Know Nothings, Right to Life Party)
Econo0mic Protest Parties – exist in times of economic distrust – they blame someone and demand better times (Wall Street, bankers, railroads, or imports)
Splinter Parties – parties that split away from major parties usually around a strong personality – most often who failed to win their parties nomination. (Roosevelt, George Wallace)
Green Party started as single issue – now it has spread.
Anti-Masons first used a convention to nominate a Presidential Candidate
Can play “spoiler” in an election – Nader in 2000 and Roosevelt in 1912
Act as critics and innovators
Most innovations are “stolen” by the bigger party
Why do you think a leader or group might seek to create a minor party even though their chances for winning are less than those of a major party?
A minor party is likely to be a victim of its own success. Explain the meaning of this statement.
In what ways can minor parties impact elections in this country?
Understand why the major parties have a decentralized structure.
Describe the national party machinery and party organization at the State and local levels.
Dems and Repubs are both decentralized with little control from National to State to Local parties
The President is always the head of the political party – makes sense – power, favors, access to media
Federalism makes the parties decentralized – over 500,000 elected posts in the US. – Federalism is decentralized, helps make US also
Nominating a President can cause factions within the party – helping decentralize it
National Convention – meets every 4 years and picks Pres and VP and adopts party platform and rules.
The National Committee – made up of all state chair people and other supporters – main goal is to stage the National Convention.
National Chairperson – chosen right after the President is nominated from the National Convention or elected.
Congressional Campaign Committee – Each party in each house have own campaign committees
Have a state committee with a chairperson usually a front for the governor
Locally, it could be anything
Ward – unit in which cities are divided into districts
Precinct – smallest unit of election administration
Usually only active in the few months before an election
Design a Minor Political Party